Why and how to tell a great story

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Marketing gurus agree telling a really good story helps to sell you and/or your product. Debbie Mayo-Smith give you some practical pointers to help you apply this in your business.

Whether you are going for a new job, want a to hold a convincing discussion, or need to sell or give a great presentation there's a secret - and that's stories. Everyone loves a good story and stories can carry your message very well. But there's skill to telling a good story.

Here's 3 tips to improve your story telling skills.

I/You Ratio

People are interested in themselves. So turn your story around. Example, instead of beginning with "my partner did this" change it to "I'm sure you have a person in your life that did this (like my partner). Don't make yourself the heroine/hero all the time. Tell it in a different way.

Description/Dialogue

Good stories have flesh and blood characters and dialogue. For example I used to tell a story about hiring a new office manager. I told it in bare detail. Now I talk about Rose. I describe with words and my hands what she looked like. I tell some of the story as a dialogue between her and I. It works! Do you know my actual office manager went to a dinner party two weeks ago and told someone new to her who she worked with. The first thing that person asked Kirsty was "Are you Rose?"

Hollywood it

The story doesn't have to start in the beginning. Why not look for dramatic impact. Start with a statement that grabs them and makes them want more. Example - I heard a wonderful long story at a conference by an American speaker about how he was bumped to first class, sat next to Richard Simmons (the exercise guru), wasn't allowed to eat by Richard and then R.S. started to drink and had everyone in first class doing jumping jacks.

After I went to the speaker and suggested that a "Hollywood" way to tell the story would be to begin this way: "There I was. 10,000 feet in the air. In first class. Doing jumping jacks."

Topics: 

  • Brand
  • Direct marketing
  • General Marketing
  • Marketing material

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 Debbie Mayo-Smith 's picture

Debbie Mayo-Smith is a leading specialist in email and Internet marketing and a keynote speaker, consultant and trainer on marketing and business development.  She is also the author of a number of excellent books on marketing practices every home business should be using, including one taking...